Surabhi, it is not only your fear, it is everybody's fear. Because nobody is what he was supposed to be by existence.
The society, the culture, the religion, the education have all been conspiring against innocent children. They have all the powers -- the child is helpless and dependent. So whatsoever they want to make out of him, they manage to do it. They don't allow any child to grow to his natural destiny. Their every effort is to make human beings into utilities.
Who knows, if a child is left on his own to grow, whether he will be of any use to the vested interests or not? The society is not prepared to take the risk. It grabs the child and starts molding him into something that is needed by the society. In a certain sense, it kills the soul of the child and gives him a false identity, so that he never misses his soul, his being.
The false identity is a substitute. But that substitute is useful only in the same crowd which has given it to you. The moment you are alone, the false starts falling apart and the repressed real starts expressing itself.
Hence the fear of being lonely.
Nobody wants to be lonely. Everybody wants to belong to a crowd -- not only one crowd, but many crowds. A person belongs to a religious crowd, a political party, a rotary club...
and there are many other small groups to belong to.
One wants to be supported twenty-four hours a day because the false, without support, cannot stand. The moment one is alone, one starts feeling a strange craziness.
Surabhi, that's what you have been asking about -- because for twenty-six years you believed yourself to be somebody, and then suddenly in a moment of loneliness you start feeling you are not that. It creates fear: then who are you?
And twenty-six years of suppression... it will take some time for the real to express itself.
The gap between the two has been called by the mystics "the dark night of the soul" -- a very appropriate expression. You are no more the false, and you are not yet the real. You are in a limbo, you don't know who you are.
Particularly in the West -- and Surabhi comes from the West -- the problem is even more complicated. Because they have not developed any methodology to discover the real as soon as possible, so that the dark night of the soul can be shortened.
The West knows nothing as far as meditation is concerned.
And meditation is only a name for being alone, silent, waiting for the real to assert itself.
It is not an act, it is a silent relaxation -- because whatever you do will come out of your false personality. All your doing for twenty-six years has come out of it; it is an old habit.
Habits die hard.
There was one great mystic in India, Eknath. He was going for a holy pilgrimage with all his disciples -- it was almost three to six months' journey.
One man came to him, fell at his feet and said, "I know I am not worthy. You know it too, everybody knows me. But I know your compassion is greater than my unworthiness.
Please accept me also as one of the members of the group that is going on the holy pilgrimage."
Eknath said, "You are a thief -- and not an ordinary thief, but a master thief. You have never been caught, and everybody knows that you are a thief. I certainly feel like taking you with me, but I also have to think about those fifty people who are going with me.
You will have to give me a promise -- and I am not asking for more, just for these three to six months' time while we are on the pilgrimage: you will not steal. After that, it is up to you. Once we are back home, you are free from the promise."
The man said, "I am absolutely ready to promise, and I am tremendously grateful for your compassion."
The other fifty people were suspicious. To trust in a thief.... But they could not say anything to Eknath. He was the master.
The pilgrimage started, and from the very first night there was trouble. The next morning there was chaos -- somebody's coat was missing, somebody's shirt was missing, somebody's money was gone.
And everybody was shouting, "Where is my money?" and they were all telling Eknath, "We were suspicious from the very beginning that you were taking this man with you. A lifelong habit...."
But then they started looking, and they found that things were not stolen. Somebody's money was missing, but it was found in somebody else's bag. Somebody else's coat was missing, but it was found in somebody else's luggage. Everything was found, but it was an unnecessary trouble -- every morning!
And nobody could conceive -- what can be the meaning of it? And now certainly it is not the thief, because nothing is stolen.
The third night, Eknath remained awake to see what goes on. In the middle of the night, the thief -- just out of habit -- woke up, started taking things from one place to another place. Eknath stopped him and said, "What are you doing? Have you forgotten your promise?"
He said, "No, I have not forgotten my promise. I am not stealing anything, but I have not promised that I will not change things from one place to another place. After six months I have to be a thief again; this is just practice. And you must understand -- it is a lifelong habit, you cannot drop it just like that. Just give me time. You should understand my problem also. For three days I have not stolen a single thing -- it is just like fasting! This is just a substitute, I am keeping myself busy. This is my business time, in the middle of the night, so it is very hard for me just to lie down on the bed awake. And so many idiots are sleeping... and I am not doing any harm to anybody. In the morning they will find their things."
Eknath said, "You are a strange man. You see that every morning there is such chaos, and one or two hours unnecessarily are wasted in finding things -- where you have put them, whose thing has gone into whose luggage. Everybody has to open everything and ask everybody... `To whom does this belong?'" The thief said, "This much concession you have to give to me."
Surabhi, twenty-six years of a false personality imposed by people who you loved, who you respected... and they were not intentionally doing anything bad to you. Their intentions were good, just their awareness was nil. They were not conscious people -- your parents, your teachers, your priests, your politicians -- they were not conscious people, they were unconscious.
And even a good intention in the hands of an unconscious person turns out to be poisonous.
So whenever you are alone, a deep fear -- because suddenly the false starts disappearing.
And the real will take a little time. You have lost it twenty-six years back. You will have to give some consideration to the fact that twenty-six years' gap has to be bridged.
In fear -- that "I am losing myself, my senses, my sanity, my mind -- everything" because the self that has been given to you by others consists of all these things -- it looks like you will go insane. You immediately start doing something just to keep yourself engaged. If there are no people, at least there is some action. So the false remains engaged and does not start disappearing.
Hence people find it the most difficult on holidays. For five days they work, hoping that on the weekend they are going to relax. But the weekend is the worst time in the whole world -- more accidents happen on the weekend, more people commit suicide, more murders, more stealing, more rape. Strange... and these people were engaged for five days and there was no problem. But the weekend suddenly gives them a choice, either to be engaged in something or to relax -- but relaxing is fearsome; the false personality disappears.
Keep engaged, do anything stupid. People are running towards the beaches, bumper to bumper, miles-long traffic. And if you ask them where they are going, they are getting away from the crowd -- and the whole crowd is going with them. They are going to find a solitary, silent space -- all of them.
In fact, if they had remained home it would have been more solitary and silent -- because all the idiots have gone in search of a solitary place. And they are rushing like mad, because two days will be finished soon, they have to reach -- don't ask where!
And on the beaches, you see... they are so crowded, not even marketplaces are so crowded. And strangely enough, people are feeling very much at ease, taking a sunbath.
Ten thousand people on a small beach taking a sunbath, relaxing.
The same person on the same beach alone will not be able to relax. But he knows thousands of other people are relaxing all around him. The same people were in the offices, the same people were in the streets, the same people were in the marketplace, now the same people are on the beach.
The crowd is an essential for the false self to exist.
The moment it is lonely, you start freaking out.
This is where one should understand a little bit of meditation.
Don't be worried, because that which can disappear is worth disappearing. It is meaningless to cling to it -- it is not yours, it is not you.
You are the one when the false has gone and the fresh, the innocent, the unpolluted being will arise in its place.
Nobody else can answer your question "Who am I?" -- you will know it.
All meditative techniques are a help to destroy the false. They don't give you the real -- the real cannot be given.
That which can be given cannot be real.
The real you have got already; just the false has to be taken away.
In a different way it can be said: the master takes away things from you which you don't really have, and he gives you that which you really have.
Meditation is just a courage to be silent and alone.
Slowly slowly, you start feeling a new quality to yourself, a new aliveness, a new beauty, a new intelligence -- which is not borrowed from anybody, which is growing within you.
It has roots in your existence.
And if you are not a coward, it will come to fruition, to flowering.
Only the brave, the courageous, the people who have guts, can be religious. Not the churchgoers -- these are the cowards. Not the Hindus, not the Mohammedans, not the Christians -- they are against searching. The same crowd, they are trying to make their false identity more consolidated.
You were born. You have come into the world with life, with consciousness, with tremendous sensitivity. Just look at a small child -- look at his eyes, the freshness. All that has been covered by a false personality.
There is no need to be afraid.
You can lose only that which has to be lost. And it is good to lose it soon -- because the longer it stays, the stronger it becomes.
And one does not know anything about tomorrow.
Don't die before realizing your authentic being.
Only those few people are fortunate who have lived with authentic being and who have died with authentic being -- because they know that life is eternal, and death is a fiction.
The people who have been exploiting humanity have created great philosophies, theologies, disciplines. Without the support of all this philosophical, theological, religious framework, it would be impossible to create the false personality.
The word `discipline' comes from these people, and the word `effort' also comes from these people.
They have created such a world emphasizing work, effort, endeavor, struggle, achievement, that they have turned almost everybody into a workaholic -- which is worse than an alcoholic, because the alcoholic at least feels that he is doing something wrong.
The workaholic feels he is doing the right thing, and those who are not workaholics are lazy people, worthless; they don't have any right even to exist, because they are a burden.
They have destroyed beautiful words, given them new connotations, new meanings.
For example, `discipline'. Discipline does not mean what you have heard that it means.
The word `discipline' comes from the same root as disciple. Its root meaning is: capacity to learn, learning -- to be more sensitive, to be more aware, to be more sincere, to be more authentic, to be more creative.
Life is a beautiful journey if it is a process of constant learning, exploration. Then it is excitement every moment, because every moment you are opening a new door, every moment you are coming in contact with a new mystery.
The word `disciple' means one who learns, and `discipline' means the process of learning.
But the word has been prostituted.
`Discipline' means obedience. They have turned the whole world into a camp of boy scouts. High above there is somebody who knows -- you need not learn, you have simply to obey. They have turned the meaning of `discipline' into its very opposite.
Learning automatically consists of doubting, of questioning, of being skeptical, of being curious -- not of being a believer certainly, because a believer never learns.
But they have used the word for thousands of years in this way. And it is not only one word that they have prostituted, they have prostituted many words. Beautiful words have become so ugly in the hands of the vested interests that you cannot even imagine the original meaning of the word... thousands of years of misuse.
They want everybody to be disciplined the way people are disciplined in the army. You are ordered -- you have to do it without asking why.
This is not the way of learning.
And even from the very beginning they have imposed stories on the minds of people, that the first sin committed was disobedience. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden because they disobeyed.
I have tried in thousands of ways, but I don't see that they have committed any sin or any crime. They were simply exploring. You are in a garden and you start exploring the fruits and flowers and what is edible and what is not edible.
And God is responsible, because he prohibited them from two trees -- he indicated the trees: "You should not approach these two trees. One is the tree of wisdom, and the other is the tree of eternal life."
Just think, if you were Adam and Eve -- was not God himself tempting you to go to these two trees? And those two trees were of wisdom and of eternal life. Why should God be against them?
If he was really a father, one who loves you, he might have pointed to them, saying that "This is a poisonous tree, don't eat from it" or, "This is the tree of death; if you eat anything, you will die." But these two trees are perfectly right -- eat as much as you can, because to be wise and to have eternal life is absolutely right.
Every father would wish his children to have wisdom and eternal life. This father seems to be absolutely loveless. Not only loveless, but as the devil said to Eve, "He has prevented you from these two trees. Do you know the reason? The reason is that if you eat from these two trees you will be equal to him, and he is jealous. He does not want you to become divine. He does not want you to become gods, full of wisdom and eternal life."
I cannot see that the devil's argument has any flaw in it. It is absolutely right. In fact, he is the first benefactor of humanity.
Without him, perhaps there would have been no humanity -- no Gautam Buddha, no Kabir, no Christ, no Zarathustra, no Lao Tzu... just buffaloes, donkeys, and yankees, all eating grass, chewing grass contentedly. And God would have been very happy, that his children are very obedient.
But this obedience is poison, pure poison.
The devil must be counted as the first revolutionary of the world, and the first man to think in terms of evolution, of wisdom, of eternal life.
And God said -- so the priests have been saying, the Jewish rabbis, Christian priests, Mohammedan maulavis, ayatollas.... They all have been saying for centuries that it was the original sin.
Again, another prostitution of a beautiful word.
The word `sin' in its roots means forgetfulness. It has nothing to do with sin as we have come to understand it.
To forget yourself is the only sin.
And to remember yourself is the only virtue.
It has nothing to do with obedience, nothing to do with discipline.
But the people who want to exploit... their very effort is that of a parasite, taking every drop of blood out of you. They say, "Work. Work hard, be disciplined, obey the orders -- there is no need to question because the orders are coming from a higher intelligence than you have." They are in such a mind that they don't even want you to sleep.
In the Soviet Union, they are now developing a whole educational system. Every child will be educated during the day in school -- but why waste his whole night? People, after a while -- twenty-five years -- have to come out of the university and work in the world.
But they work only five hours, six hours, and their whole night is sheer wastage -- it can be used. Now they are developing methods and means to use it.
For example, it can be used for teaching. The child's ears are plugged with a very subtle mechanism controlled by the central system in the town, and what they call "subliminal education"... it does not disturb your sleep. Very slowly, so quietly that it cannot even be called whispering, because even whispering may disturb your sleep.... Its range is lower than a whisper. And the strangest thing is -- which was known long before about women, but it was not known that it could be used in such a way....
About women it has been known for centuries, that if you want them to hear what you are saying, whisper. If you just start whispering with someone, any woman around is going to hear exactly what you are saying.
If you are talking loudly, nobody cares. Whispering means that you are trying to hide, something is secretive. The woman becomes alert with her more sensitive being, and she catches everything that you are saying. So if you want to say anything to any woman, just whisper it to somebody else and she will get the message absolutely correctly -- and no argument!
Subliminal education is a lower range whispering. They have found that it does not disturb sleep, it does not even disturb dreams. Dreams are here... sleep is lower than dreams, and subliminal whispering is lower than sleep -- so it simply goes underground.
For eight hours in the night you can teach continuously whatever you want to teach, and the most wonderful thing about it is that the child will remember everything -- there is no need for him to memorize it, there is no need for him to do homework for it. It has simply entered into his memory system from an underground source. Now they have captured your twenty-four hours.
Even freedom to dream may be taken away one day.
It is possible that the government could decide what to dream and what not to dream.
Dreams could be projected just like projecting pictures on a screen, and you would not be able to tell the difference, whether you are dreaming or the government agency is projecting some idea.
Subliminal teaching is really one of the most dangerous things discovered by the psychologists. It has been tried in many countries and found to work immensely well.
For example, you go into a movie....
You see advertisements -- they work, but they need constant repetition. A certain brand of cigarette... you have to read it in the newspaper, you have to see it on television, you have to hear it on the radio, you have to see it on the street on the billboards, you have to see it in the movie house, it has to be repeated continually. A certain brand... you don't take any note of it. You simply read it and you forget about it, but it is going to make a mark inside you. And when you go to purchase cigarettes, suddenly you will find yourself asking for that brand.
But it is a long process. Up to now, advertising has been a lengthy process.
With subliminal teaching, it becomes very shortcut and very dangerous.
They have tried in a few movies, experimentally, between two frames. You are watching the movie and you will not be aware that something has happened; you will go on seeing the movie. The story is going on and in just a flash -- so short that you will not be able to detect with your eyes that something has passed on the screen -- you feel very thirsty and you need a Coca Cola. You have not read "Coca Cola", but even though you have not read it, your memory has simply got the idea.
And they have found that on that night, in that movie house the sales of Coca Cola rose by seventy percent. The people who ask for Coca Cola don't know why they are asking for Coca Cola -- they feel thirsty. They are not feeling thirsty, they don't need Coca Cola, but a subliminal impact....
This is dangerous. It is taking away your freedom. You are not even free to choose, you are simply being ordered -- and in such a way that you are not even aware that you have been ordered to purchase Coca Cola.
Political parties are going to use it -- vote for Ronald Reagan. There is no need to destroy all the walls and write everywhere "Vote for Ronald Reagan" -- just subliminal... on television, in the movies.
And in the Soviet Union, the educationalists are thinking that everybody's night can be used for further training, refresher courses.
For example, a doctor comes out of the university.... But medical science goes on growing, and the doctor is always lagging far behind. He uses medicines which are no longer valid; science has gone farther ahead, has found better medicines. But the doctor has no opportunity to read all that literature -- his night can be used. During the day he can look at the patients; at night he can be given the latest information.
But that means you have made man a robot, twenty-four hours a day geared to work, and geared to do whatever kind of work you want. It is not his free will.
These people have brought these beautiful words like discipline, work, obedience, to such a distasteful state that it is better for a few days to abandon them completely.
Work is beautiful if it comes out of your love, if it comes out of your creativity. Then work has some spiritual quality.
Discipline is good if it comes out of your learning, your disciplehood, your dedication, your devotion -- then it is something that is growing in you like a beautiful flame, directing your life in its light.
If obedience comes out of trust... not that somebody is more powerful and if you don't listen you will be punished.
Even God could not forgive just one act of disobedience. The poor fellows... Adam and Eve had eaten one apple!
For five years continuously I lived on apples. My mother used to say, "You should think about it -- just one apple and Adam and Eve were turned out of the Garden of Eden. And you are simply living on apples!" For five years I didn't eat anything else.
I said, "That's what I want to see... where? -- now at the most he can drive me into the Garden of Eden. There are only two places, the Garden of Eden and the world. There is no other world he can drive me to."
Naturally God remained silent. "What to do now? He is committing sin from morning to night, sin upon sin" -- because that was my whole food.
He could not forgive a small thing.
No, it is not the question that they had committed a great sin. The question is that God's ego is hurt; it is a revenge. With great vengeance... It is unbelievable that even now you are suffering because of the sin committed by Adam and Eve. We don't know these people -- when they existed, whether they existed or not; we have no part in their act -- still, we are suffering.
Every human child is going to suffer such vengeance? -- it doesn't seem to be divine. God seems to be more evil than the devil. The devil seems to be more friendly, more understanding.
The people who have brought these words -- work, discipline, obedience -- are the priests of this God, they represent him. They have destroyed the beauty of simple words.
Obedience can also be of tremendous beauty.
But it should come out of your commitment -- not out of an order from somebody.
It should come out of your heart.
You love and you respect and you are dedicated to someone so deeply that your heart always says yes; it has forgotten how to say no. Even if you want to say no, you have forgotten the word.
Then, obedience is religious, spiritual.
It will be great if you can give up. That is the trouble.
I have been telling you to give up. From the very beginning -- don't start! But you don't listen.
Nine years of great work, hard work, and still you are asking "Should I bring more intelligence and more work?" And you think you have been missing the train because you are not working hard enough! Just the opposite is the case.
You are missing the train because you are working too hard.
You are so involved in your work that you don't see that the train has come and passed.
By the time you see other passengers getting out on the road... THEN you become aware that the train has come and passed.
You simply give up and rest on the platform. So whenever the train comes.... What is the need to miss the train?
But you cannot rest, you cannot relax, you cannot let go. You have made it a project. You are aggressive, goal oriented, always trying to achieve something.
And here you are with a man who is saying to you that all that you want to achieve is already within you -- just relax, because only in relaxation will you realize what is hidden in you.
But you are running so fast. You don't stop, you are putting your whole intelligence...
You could have made it the very first day you had come to me. And you can make it right now -- because the train is always standing on the platform.
It never leaves because there is nowhere to go.
You are doing perfectly well. Just forget all about enlightenment.
Enjoy simple things with total intensity.
Just a cup of tea can be a deep meditation.
If you can enjoy it, the aroma of it, slowly sipping it, the taste of it... who cares about God?
You don't know that God is continuously feeling jealous of you when he sees you drinking a cup of tea and the poor fellow cannot have it. Instant coffee... these things are not available in the Garden of Eden.
And since Adam and Eve left, there is no human company at all -- just living with animals, who don't know how to make tea.
God is very jealous of you and very repentant that he drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, but now nothing can be done about it. The sons and daughters of Adam and Eve are living far more beautifully, far more richly.
Enlightenment happens when you have forgotten all about it.
Don't look even out of the corner of your eye, just in case enlightenment is coming and you will miss it. Forget all about it. You just enjoy your simple life.
And everything is so beautiful -- why create unnecessary anxiety and anguish for yourself? Strange problems of spirituality.... Those things are not something you can do anything about.
If you can make your ordinary life a thing of beauty and art, all that you had always desired will start happening of its own accord.
There is a beautiful story....
There is a temple in this state, Maharashtra. It is a temple of Krishna, and a strange story is connected with the temple because the statue of Krishna -- in Maharashtra he is called Bitthal -- is standing on a brick. Strange, because nowhere in any temple is any god standing on a brick.
The story is that one beautiful man, enjoying life, every bit in its totality, was so contented and so fulfilled that Krishna decided to appear before him. Ordinarily there are people who are singing and dancing their whole life, "Hare Krishna, Hare Rama" and neither Rama appears nor Krishna appears -- nobody appears. And this man was not bothering about Krishna or Rama or anybody. He was simply living his life, but living it the way it should be lived -- with love, with heart, with beauty, with music, with poetry.
His life was in itself a blessing, and Krishna has to decide that "This man needs a visit from me."
You see the story -- the man is not at all thinking of Krishna -- but Krishna, on his own part, feels that this man deserves a visit. He goes in the middle of the night, not to create any trouble in the whole town. He finds the door open and he goes in.
The man's mother is very sick, and he is massaging her feet. Krishna comes behind him and says, "I am Krishna and I have come to give you an audience, a DARSHANA."
The man said, "This is not the right time; I am massaging my mother's feet."
Meanwhile, just by his side there was a brick; he pushed the brick back -- he did not even look back to see who this Krishna is -- he pushed the brick and told him to stand on it, and that when he is finished with his work he will see him. But he was so much absorbed in massaging the mother's feet -- who was almost dying -- that the whole night passed, and Krishna remained standing there.
He said, "This is a strange stupidity. People are singing their whole life, `Hare Krishna, Hare Rama' and I never go there. And I have come here and this fool has not even looked back, has not even said to me, `Sit down' but tells me to stand on the brick!"
And then it was getting light, the sun was rising, and Krishna became afraid, because people would be coming in. The road was just by the side of the house, and the door was open -- and if they saw him standing there, soon there would be trouble, great crowds would come. So he disappeared, leaving just a stone statue of himself on the brick.
When the mother went to sleep, then the man turned and said, "Who is the fellow who was disturbing me in the night?"
And he found just a statue of Krishna.
The whole village gathered -- this was a miracle, what had happened? He told the whole story. They said, "You are a strange fellow. Krishna himself had come, and you are such a fool! You could have at least told him to sit down, offered him something to eat, something to drink. He was a guest."
The man said, "At that time there was nothing by my side except this brick. And whenever I am doing something, I do it with totality. I don't want any interference. If he is so much interested in being seen, he can come again, there is no hurry."
That statue remains in the temple of Bitthal, still standing on a brick. But the man was really a great man -- not bothering about rewards or anything, absorbed so fully in every action that the action itself becomes the reward. And even if God comes, the reward that is coming out of the totality of action is bigger than God.
Nobody has interpreted the story the way I am interpreting it, but you can see that any other interpretation is nonsense.
So just forget about spirituality, enlightenment, God -- they will take care of themselves.
That is their business. They are sitting there without customers.
You need not worry; you do the best you can do with life -- that is your test, that is your worship, that is your religion. And everything else will follow on its own accord.
It is a tricky question.
I can promise I will not drop you. The only problem is that if you want to drop me, then you will find it very difficult to drop -- I won't let you drop!
So now this will be your fear: I will fulfill my promise in any case -- whether you want it or not!
So if this dispels your fear, perfectly good.
It is not a problem for me, I can promise.
I just don't want to interfere with anybody's freedom. I want to keep the door open; if you want to go out, I don't want to close it.
But if that is what you want, the door is closed -- and locked!
Now don't come next time saying that you are now fearing that if you want to get out, now there is no way.
A promise is a promise!
I changed my mind.